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June 10, 1968

Cancer of the Urogenital Tract: Wilms' Tumor and Neuroblastoma: Wilms' Tumor

JAMA. 1968;204(11):981-982. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140240037009

Cancer is commonly thought of as a disease of an aging adult population. Therefore, it is surprising to learn that in children cancer is second only to trauma as a leading cause of death.1 This high incidence results from changing patterns of disease in childhood following the introduction of immunization and antibiotics to control infectious diseases. The peculiar selection of sites by neoplastic processes in the child as compared to the adult is difficult to explain. Epithelial cancers of the adult are not seen in younger age groups; in children, however, embryonal or congenital tumors resulting from vestigial remnants arise in different parts of the anatomy such as kidneys, eyes, adrenals, testes, and ovaries.2 Not only has an increase in the number of malignant neoplasms and in mortality been recorded but, during the past two decades, changes in predilection of different sites have also been noted.1